Harlan Jacobson’s Talk Cinema: A Curated Series of Surprises
The Other Side of Hope
Directed by Aki Kaurismäki
Wednesday, January 10, 7 pm
$18/$16 Speed members/Free for Cinephile members
This wry, melancholic comedy from celebrated Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki, is a clear-eyed response to the current refugee crisis, following two people searching for a place to call home. Displaced Syrian Khaled (Sherwan Haji) lands in Helsinki as a stowaway; meanwhile, middle-aged salesman Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen) leaves behind his wife and job and buys a conspicuously unprofitable seafood restaurant. After Khaled is denied asylum, he decides not to return to Aleppo—and the paths of the two men cross fortuitously. As deadpan as the best of the director’s work, and with a deep well of empathy for its down-but-not-out characters (many of them played by members of Kaurismäki’s ever-reliable stock company), The Other Side of Hope is a bittersweet tale of human kindness in the face of official indifference.
Winner of the Silver Bear at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival. 2017, Finland, DCP, in Finnish, English, and Arabic with English subtitles, 98 minutes.
Talk Cinema, a national series, features a sneak preview screening of an art house film before its released followed by a discussion. The series occurs monthly through April.